murray-woo

Manufacturers praise minister

Business

THE Manufacturers Council of PNG has thanked Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru (pictured), for standing up for local industries.
Council chairman Murray Woo said PNG businesses had never expected that PNG would gain the most benefit from the Melanesian Spearhead Group agreements, “but we certainly did not expect to be treated as a least desirable trader”.
He was commenting on Maru’s condemnation of Fiji for not honouring the trade agreements.
Woo said PNG was a much larger market place.
“We supported the significant value that preferential access to our market gave to our smaller Melanesian cousins in the knowledge that they would have the most to gain from the deal. This being said, it was to be a reciprocal arrangement,” Woo said.
“While we didn’t expect to have trade surpluses with these small markets, we certainly never expected to be effectively and unfairly excluded from their markets.”
He said the basis of the agreement was “for each of us to treat one another better than we treat anyone else – in Melanesian solidarity”.
“Local manufacturers have cried foul for over 15 years. Minister Maru is the first leader to call our trade partners out,” he said.
“Despite committing to a zero tariff rating by 2012, Fiji, Solomons and Vanuatu have not met the deal.”
Woo said Maru had put the MSG parties on notice to play by the rules, in the spirit of solidarity.
“He gave them several years to do so, but they did nothing,” he said.

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